Coeur Mining, Inc. ("Coeur" or the "Company") (NYSE: CDE) today announced that it has begun taking steps toward the temporary suspension of active mining and processing activities at its Palmarejo gold-silver complex ("Palmarejo") in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico in accordance with a government-mandated decree in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus ("COVID-19").
The decree, issued by the Federal government of Mexico, restricts all non-essential business activities through April 30, 2020. The Mexican government provided additional guidance on the decree on April 6, 2020, clarifying that mining does not qualify as an essential business activity.
Since the original decree was issued, Coeur has been working with federal, state and local governments, surrounding communities, industry peers and the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) as well as its employees and contractors to understand and comply with the decree. The Company is currently in the process of safely and securely ramping down its mining operations at Palmarejo. A reduced workforce will remain onsite during the suspension to maintain key infrastructure, manage environmental compliance and provide requisite security. Coeur expects that operations will be able to expeditiously ramp back up once the decree has been lifted.
All of the Company’s other active mines continue to operate at full capacity and there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Coeur’s portfolio. Precious metals mining is considered essential to support critical infrastructure under guidelines of the Department of Homeland Security and every state where Coeur operates in the U.S. (Nevada, Alaska and South Dakota), providing the minerals needed to support a wide range of critical products including certain devices and technologies used in the medical industry, among other uses.
Each of the Company’s operations has developed site-specific screening, education and modifications to work procedures to limit COVID-19 exposure and transmission. Operational readiness is being routinely assessed as the situation continues to evolve and each site has scenario plans in place, should the need arise. Coeur is following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization as well as state and local authorities to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and communities, and minimize business interruption.
Key initiatives that the Company has undertaken include:
- Travel and site access restricted to business-critical needs; discretionary travel strongly discouraged
- Health and travel questionnaires as well as temperature checks required prior to entering sites
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting of common areas
- Social distancing, including limiting meetings to ten people (or less)
- Extended rotational schedules at certain operations to reduce travel to and from site
- All site-level employees who can and all corporate headquarter employees working remotely
- Partnering with communities in communication and local responses
Coeur has also evaluated its supply chain and metal sales risks at each operation and remains in close contact with critical vendors, customers and transportation providers, establishing back-up arrangements to mitigate the impact of any disruptions related to COVID-19. The Company has not experienced any material disruptions to date.
In light of the temporary suspension at Palmarejo and ongoing uncertainty regarding COVID-19, Coeur has decided to withdraw its full-year 2020 guidance. The Company will continue targeting safe execution of its operating plans and reevaluate instituting full-year 2020 guidance as the year progresses.
Coeur Mining, Inc. is a U.S.-based, well-diversified, growing precious metals producer with five wholly-owned operations: the Palmarejo gold-silver complex in Mexico, the Rochester silver-gold mine in Nevada, the Kensington gold mine in Alaska, the Wharf gold mine in South Dakota, and the Silvertip silver-zinc-lead mine in British Columbia. In addition, the Company has interests in several precious metals exploration projects throughout North America.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of securities legislation in the United States and Canada, including statements regarding the temporary suspension of mining activities at Palmarejo, activities at the Company’s other operations and COVID-19 response planning. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause Coeur’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the risk of sustained business interruption due to COVID-19 and ability to expeditiously ramp up the Palmarejo mine once governmental restrictions are lifted, the risks and hazards inherent in the mining business (including risks inherent in developing large-scale mining projects, environmental hazards, industrial accidents, weather or geologically-related conditions), changes in the market prices of gold, silver, zinc and lead and a sustained lower price environment, the uncertainties inherent in Coeur’s production, exploratory and developmental activities, including risks relating to permitting and regulatory delays (including the impact of government shutdowns), ground conditions, grade variability, any future labor disputes or work stoppages, the uncertainties inherent in the estimation of mineral reserves, changes that could result from Coeur’s future acquisition of new mining properties or businesses, the loss of any third-party smelter to which Coeur markets its production, the effects of environmental and other governmental regulations, the risks inherent in the ownership or operation of or investment in mining properties or businesses in foreign countries, Coeur’s ability to raise additional financing necessary to conduct its business, make payments or refinance its debt, as well as other uncertainties and risk factors set out in filings made from time to time with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Canadian securities regulators, including, without limitation, Coeur’s most recent report on Form 10-K. Actual results, developments and timetables could vary significantly from the estimates presented. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Coeur disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, Coeur undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of Coeur, its financial or operating results or its securities.
For Additional Information
Coeur Mining, Inc.
104 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 900
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Attention: Paul DePartout, Director, Investor Relations
Phone: (312) 489-5800